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Safe Holiday Shopping: How to protect yourself and your valuables

By AMA Staff

During holiday shopping season, it’s important to take precautions to safeguard personal belongings and information whether you’re close to home or away. Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself. 

At home  

  • One in four Canadians have been the victim of porch pirates, according to a FedEx survey conducted last year. Where possible, ask a trusted friend or family member to drop by and receive an expected package, or opt for ship-to-store instead.  
  • Install a smart camera or integrated doorbell camera at the front door and set the device to alert your phone when activity is detected. Many products on the market also save recorded footage in the cloud, so users can review later on.  
  • Be mindful of leaving evidence of purchases out by the curb for garbage or recycling collection—try to break down and conceal packaging identifying contents from prying eyes. 


  • Avoid leaving shopping bags in an unattended vehicle. If you have to do so for a short time, put them in the trunk.  
  • Exercise caution browsing unfamiliar retail websites. Check to see if the URL begins with https, which indicates the page encrypts your transmitted data, rather than the unsecured http. When creating a new account, don’t choose a previously used password.  
  • Some credit cards offer purchase protection against lost or stolen merchandise and may be able to help you recoup the cost of swiped gifts 


  • Keep a detailed inventory of valuables in the house to track what needs replacing in case you must make a claim. Remember to keep the list updated as holiday gifts are added. Taking photos and/or videos of each room can help with documentation as well.  
  • Let your insurance company know about any expensive items to ensure your policy offers sufficient coverage. 

Visit ama.ab.ca/insurance/property to get a quote or learn more.